Perhaps one of the most beautiful sights of a Northwest autumn is the Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), the common hardwood of our hills and coastal forests.All through the Oregon Coast Range these maples fill the openings in the coniferous forest that covers most of these hills.
For most of the year, and in most autumns, the tree merely contributes to the thick leaf litter and duff that carpets the forest floor.
Now, in most years the rains arrive in late September or early October and the fall colors are brief and muted. Rain knocks the leaves down quickly, and the wet churns them to the muddy brown that colors most of our autumns.
But when the rains don't arrive, and the Indian summer pushes well into October, as this one's has...then the maples take the opportunity to blazon the hillsides with the gold peculiar to the species.The forests blaze with this golden light, and the dark coniferous hillsides seem to be lit from within, a lumineria spilling down the steep slopes of the Coast Range.
So for your enjoyment, a bit of autumn color from the sunny Northwest.
Enjoy it, for, as the slave holding the laurel crown over your head is whispering; like fame, its time is fleeting and soon the rains will fall.